Survey shows pharma dependency declines in marijuana states

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More medical marijuana users are turning away from pharmaceutical drugs

It won’t come as a surprise to any marijuana enthusiast, but pharmaceutical companies are losing against cannabis. A recent study shows that medical marijuana patients are becoming more confident about cannabis and are increasingly turning away from pharmaceutical drugs. They have found that Mother Nature’s wonder drug is more effective, safer and, in many cases, cheaper than the lab-based pharma offerings.

Researchers surveyed around 400 medical marijuana patients who attended a recent pro-reform event, asking them about their marijuana usage and their feelings toward the health care system in the U.S. The results of the survey were released this week through the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs and most indicated that marijuana was an effective and “relatively harmless” alternative to the pharma products that have traditionally been prescribed. The respondents indicated that they turned to cannabis for a variety of medical conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and muscle spasms.

According to the study, “In comparison to pharmaceutical drugs, medical cannabis users rated cannabis better on effectiveness, side effects, safety, addictiveness, availability, and cost. Due to the medical use of cannabis, 42 percent stopped taking a pharmaceutical drug and 38 percent used less of a pharmaceutical drug.”

The researchers added, “This study advances knowledge in the evidence-based approach to harm reduction and benefit promotion regarding medical cannabis. Given the growing use of cannabis for medical purposes and the widespread use for recreation purposes despite criminalization, the current public health framework focusing primarily on cannabis abstinence appears obsolete.”